Leafs try to remember how Bruins ’embarrassed’ them

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Less than three weeks ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Boston Bruins and got embarrassed.

That 4-1 loss, televised nationally on Hockey Night in Canada no less, reportedly led to a dressing-down from coach Randy Carlyle, as well as a players-only meeting.

Since then, the Leafs have won five of seven, with only one poor performance mixed in. Tonight, they’ll get a chance for redemption, at home, versus those same Bruins (on NBCSN).

“We’ve tried to stimulate our memory about how embarrassed we were in the performance we put forth in that game,” Carlyle said this morning, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty.

In case you require a similar memory stimulation, the Leafs were down 1-0 after just 3:27 of the first period. They were outshot 23-15 over the first two periods. They trailed 4-0 before scoring late in the third.

This was the Boston goal that got the most attention:

Which led to booing, and even a mocking “Let’s Go Raptors” chant, apparently.

“We got beat in every aspect of the game again,” captain Dion Phaneuf said. “It’s inexcusable. Tonight we weren’t even close.”

That’s their motivation.

NHL on NBCSN: Hot Bruins, Leafs continue one of NHL’s oldest battles

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NBCSN will feature a doubleheader for Wednesday Night Rivalry. In the first half of the event, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Boston Bruins at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Boston isn’t at 100 percent strength – in fact, the team is nowhere near it. The Bruins have been playing without blueliners David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, and Zdeno Chara. They got Torey Krug back on Monday, but yesterday the team revealed that David Krejci would miss at least two more contests.

None of that has slowed them down. The Bruins have still cruised to five straight victories to improve to 10-6-0 this season. They’ll look to make it six against a very familiar foe.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The Maple Leafs faced Boston in the 2013 playoffs in a series that is difficult for any Torontonian to easily forget. Toronto had a 4-1 lead midway through the third period of Game 7 when the Bruins started a comeback run that eliminated the Maple Leafs. Patrice Bergeron netted the game-tying and winning goals in that contest and he’s remained a thorn in Toronto’s side since that contest.

When Boston and Toronto met for the first time this season on Oct. 25, Bergeron had two assists to aid the Bruins in their 4-1 victory. That was also the night Bergeron reached the 500-point milestone and given that he’s taking a four-game point streak into tonight’s contest, it’s fair to say that he remains a series threat for the Maple Leafs.

As does goaltender Tuukka Rask, should the Bruins decide to put him between the pipes tonight. There are few teams he torments more than the Maple Leafs as he’s posted a career 10-2-0 record, 1.59 GAA, and .945 save percentage against them in 14 career regular season contests.

As they always do, the Toronto Maple Leafs will look to Phil Kessel to lead the charge tonight, but while he is typically an imposing player, the Bruins have traditionally done a great job of shutting him down. Since he was traded from Boston to Toronto, Kessel has just three goals, 14 points, and a minus-24 rating in 27 regular season contests against his former squad. He was held off the scoresheet and was minus-two in Toronto’s loss to Boston earlier this season.

The silver lining is that the Leafs’ secondary scorers have stepped up lately. Toronto won back-to-back games over the weekend and its 10 goals over that span were scored by nine different players. If the Maple Leafs display that kind of depth tonight against Boston then the Bruins’ winning streak will be in serious jeopardy.

PHT Morning Skate: (Photos) What Bruins would look like with Julien’s 85-86 ‘stache

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Charlie Miller saw Claude Julien’s mustache from 1985-86 and thought: I wonder what it would look like if the entire Bruins’ team was sporting it? This was the result…

You can view the rest of them here.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,200. Starts Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs will wear special jerseys on Dec. 5 in honor of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. They’re also going to try to raise money for his son. (NHL.com)

Trevor van Riemsdyk appeared to score his first career goal on Sunday, but it was later credited to Kris Versteeg. For his part, van Riemsdyk wasn’t surprised by the scoring change and he seems to be taking the news well. (CSN Chicago)

Should Daniel Alfredsson be inducted into the Hall of Fame? (Grantland)

Highlights from St. Louis’ 6-1 victory over Buffalo:

Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle (hand) might not be pain free by the end of the week, but he might be back soon anyways. (The Bergen Record)

You’ve probably seen Seth Griffith’s goal of the year candidate at this point, but if that’s the first you’ve heard of him, then you probably don’t know the odds he’s had to overcome to get this far. (OHL Writers)

The Philadelphia Flyers are doing their best to make sure they don’t squander the momentum they’ve gained during their five-day break from games. (CSN Philly)

Report: Bruins interested in acquiring defenseman

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Going into the 2014-15 campaign, the Boston Bruins were in a tough cap position and trading a defenseman seemed like the best way to address it given their deep blueline. Their circumstances have changed though and now the Bruins have expressed an interest in acquiring a defenseman, according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver.

The Bruins have been hit hard by injuries lately and are consequently missing defensemen David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, and Zdeno Chara. The only silver lining is that Krug might be able to return on Monday.

This would naturally be less of an issue if the Bruins had found a way to stay under the ceiling without trading Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders on Oct. 4, but that’s being said with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Significant trades at this stage of the season are not unheard of, but they are rare. That being said, it’s not clear what the Bruins are looking for and they might be more interested in a stopgap measure that can help ease the team through this period until some of their regulars are healthy enough to play.

Battered Bruins might get Torey Krug back Monday

The Boston Bruins received more bad news on Sunday as David Warsofsky will miss the next two-to-four weeks with a groin strain and David Krejci is day-to-day. Embedded in the latest injury updates though was a glimmer of hope.

Defenseman Torey Krug (finger) took part in Sunday’s practice and thinks returning on Monday is a possibility.

“Yeah, definitely,” Krug told the Bruins’ website. “It’s realistic, it’s something that we’ve just got to talk about and make sure I feel comfortable with it, the coaches feel comfortable, and it’s going to be a group decision.”

The Bruins could use all the help they can get as they’re also missing defensemen Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara on top of Warsofsky. If Krug can’t play, then Matt Bartkowski might come out of the press box after four games as a healthy scratch.

“He dug himself a hole, and now he’s got to dig himself out of it,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said, per CSN New England. “You only get so many chances, right, where if you keep failing then you go back up to the press box. It’s all about attitude. I think Bart has had a good attitude in practice, and he’s been working hard. I don’t think he’s hanging his head. He’s still a good teammate in the dressing room.”

Amid all of the Bruins’ injury woes, they’ve still managed to win their last four games. They’ll try to make it five when they face New Jersey.